School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

Directory Profile

Priya Jaikumar, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Email: pjaikumar@cinema.usc.edu
Work Phone: 213.740.3334
Office: SCA 320

Priya Jaikumar is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. A historian and theorist of colonial and postcolonial cinemas, she has written on comparative modernities and aesthetics in film, critical theories of film history, place and space in cinema, film and cultural geography, and transnational feminism.

Jaikumar’s book Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India (Duke University Press, 2006) details the intertwined industrial, regulatory and aesthetic histories of British and Indian cinema during the late colonial period (1927-1947). Her scholarly work has appeared in journals such as Cinema Journal, The Moving Image, Post Script, Screen, World Literature Today, Wasafari, and in the anthologies Hollywood Abroad, Transnational Feminism in Film and Media, Postcolonial Cinema Studies, Silent Cinema and the Politics of Space, The Slumdog Phenomena, Empire and Film and the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender, among others.  Her essay “An ‘Accurate Imagination’: Place, Map and Archive as Spatial Objects of Film History” received the Society for Cinema and Media Studies award for best essay in an edited anthology in 2013. She is currently completing a book titled Where Histories Reside: India as Filmed Space, in which she uses the concept of “filmed space” to write a historiography of theatrical and non-theatrical film productions shot on location in India, while also highlighting space as a problem in the narration of film histories.

In the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Jaikumar teaches undergraduate and graduate survey courses on international sound cinema, the historical film genre, film and memory, global blockbusters, critical theories of history and modernity, postcolonial theory, state theory, and Indian cinema. Jaikumar served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Cinema and Media Studies from 2006-2009, and previously worked as Assistant Professor of Film at the English Department in Syracuse University, where she was awarded the Department’s 2002 undergraduate teaching award. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Radio, TV and Film at Northwestern University, and her dissertation was honored by the Society of Cinema and Media Studies.

Prior to joining academia, Jaikumar was a television reporter and print journalist in New Delhi, India, publishing her writings with The Times of India, The Indian Express, and the journal A&M (Advertising and Marketing). Her more recent and forthcoming appearances on television as a cultural commentator include Al Jazeera’s “Hollywood: Chronicle of an Empire” hosted by Marwar Bishara (March 2014), and the German documentary “Tiki-Pop: Paradise Remade” (ARTE channel, Germany, 2016).

CHAPTERS IN EDITED ANTHOLOGIES:
“Feminist and Non-Western Interrogations of Authorship.” In Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender, edited by Kristin Hole, Dijana Jelaca, E. Ann Kaplan and Patrice Patro, forthcoming.

“Insurgent Place as Visual Space: Location Shots and Rival Geographies of 1857 Lucknow.” In Silent Cinema and the Politics of Space, edited by Jennifer Bean, Anupama Kapse and Laura Horak. (Indiana: Indiana UP, 2014), 47-70.

Recipient of the best edited anthology award by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2015).

Slumdog Celebrities,” In The Slumdog Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology, edited by Ajay Gahlot (Anthem Press, in press). Republication of expanded version.

 “An ‘Accurate Imagination’: Place, Map and Archive as Spatial Objects of Film History.” In Empire and Film, edited by Lee Grieveson and Colin McCabe, 167-188. London: BFI Publishing, 2011.

Recipient of the Best Essay in an Edited Anthology Award by Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2013).

 “Postface: On Teaching Postcolonialism and Cinema. Interview with Priya Jaikumar,” in Postcolonial Cinema Studies, edited by Marguerite Waller and Sandra Ponzanesi, 233-241. NY: Routledge, 2011

“A Dialogue on The River (Jean Renoir, 1951).” In Outsider Films on India, 1950-1990, edited by Shanay Jhaveri, 17-47. London, UK: I.B.Taurus, 2009

“Translating Silences: A Cinematic Encounter with Incommensurable Difference.” In Transnational Feminism in Film and Media: Visibility, Representation, and Sexual Difference, edited by Katarzyna Marciniak, Áine O’Healy, and Anikó Imre. London, UK:  Palgrave Macmillan 2007, 207-226

“Hollywood and the Multiple Constituencies of Colonial India.” In Hollywood Abroad: Audiences, Reception and Cultural Exchange, edited by Richard Maltby and Melvyn Stokes, 78-98. London, UK: BFI, 2005

SELECT ARTICLES IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS:
“Haveli: A Cinematic Topos,” Positions, forthcoming 2016.

“Sabu’s Skins: The Transnational Stardom of an Elephant Boy,” Wasafari vol. 22 no. 2 (2012): 61-68

“Terrorism and the Politics of Film Language: Mani Rathnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal,” Post Script 25, no. 3 (Summer 2006), 48-64

“Bollywood Spectaculars,” World Literature Today 3, nos. 3-4 (October-December 2003), 24-29.

“More than Morality: The Indian Cinematograph Committee Interviews, 1927-28” The Moving Image 3, no. 1 (Spring 2003), 82-109.

“An Act of Transition: Empire and the Making of a National British Film Industry, 1927, Screen, 43.2 (Summer 2002), 119-138.
“ ‘Place’ and the Modernist Redemption of Empire in Black Narcissus,” Cinema Journal 40.2 (Winter 2001), 57-77.

Books Written:

Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India (Duke University Press, 2006)

Where Histories Reside: India as Filmed Space (Duke University Press, forthcoming)

Oxford Handbook of Indian Cinema (co-editor, Oxford University Press, forthcoming)